January 10, 2016

Quick Takes (v2): Implosions

Quick Takes 
Yesterday, the Grandstand at the New York State Fairgrounds here in Syracuse was imploded, to make way for a new RV park, part of our Sonofa Governor Andrew Cuomo's move to revitalize the Central New York economy.

Cuomo's $50M plan to turn the site into a year-round venue and an economic development draw for the area, was of course supplemented by the building of our new seasonal OnPhitheater (formally known as the Lakeview Amphitheater), another $50 million project that, by design, will cause people to either skip the Fair entirely, or leave it for a period of time, to attend Grandstand-level concerts off-campus during the Fair's run in late summer.

And, with the destruction of the Grandstand and the one-mile dirt track, so ends the car and horse racing at the Fair; constituents of those activities are left with only their memories, as are attendees of concerts at the Grandstand. The racing events that used to be held at the Grandstand may both eventually be held at the CNY Raceway Park, a multi-use 'need for speed' venture underway in Hastings, up in Oswego County. (Note: I'm not including any links to the Raceway Park, as more than a few take you to obviously fake sites that immediately ask you to download software of one sort or another; I encourage you to be cautious.)

Here's how the implosion activity was described in a local media report:
The push of a ceremonial plunger ignited 268 explosives at 260 different locations on the Grandstand, sending more than 5 million pounds of steel and concrete crashing to the ground.
The Gov himself was here for the demolition, further cementing his relationship with our County Executive, OnJoanie Mahoney.
Governor Andrew Cuomo and County Executive Joanie Mahoney attended the event and pushed the plunger together, along with a small group of friends. 
Ah, love.

Mayor Stephanie Miner was not in attendance at the implosion; rather, she was holding a press conference with US Representative Paul Tonko (D-Amsterdam), in which renewed calls for federal investment in local infrastructure were made. Some might say she was furthering the implosion of her relationship with both Joanie and Andy. This comes, of course, because of her well-known disagreement with Cuomo on state funding for these projects and her involvement with Building America's Future, a group that lobbies for infrastructure assistance for localities.

To put the Cuomo/Miner rift into simple terms, the Governor believes you can lead a horse to water.

He (and OnJoanie as well) are all about the kind of government assistance that makes people want to participate in something; a nice RV park will draw more visitors to the State Fair, for example, or a makeover will cause users of Penn Station (which he has declared bleak, dark and ugly) to feel better about their experience there, and about New York at the same time.

Miner, clearly, thinks there should be potable water there when the horse arrives.

This could be another long year.